The promise of $104 million being spent in rural North Carolina to connect those area with the information highway was enough to bring officials together — some in person and some via the Internet — who applauded from four geographic locations across the state the beginning of a federal Broadband Technology and Opportunities Program grant award. The project will invest $104 million to build 1,200 miles of new broadband infrastructure throughout rural North Carolina, including direct fiber to nearly 180 educational institutions, including K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, and libraries.
A-B Tech was one of the statewide “virtual” groundbreaking locations to launch the second round of the NC-Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative. Among the attendees of the Aug. 12 event at A-B Technical Community College were Rep. Heath Shuler, Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy and A-B Tech President Hank Dunn.
Hunter Goosman provided text and photographic coverage via Twitter:
The GOLDEN LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative groundreaking is a virtual event across four NC sites.
Dan Gerlach: The project serves rural NC; this broadband investment enables a 10-to-1 return; the project creates jobs.
Sen Hagan: We’re coming together for the kids, students, and for jobs in NC.
Congr McIntyre: Broadband is our road to the future.
Sen Hagan: This project is a defining moment for our state.
Congr Butterfield: We need to not only deploy broadband, but also encourage adoption.
Bellamy, Shuler, Dunn with shovels at the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative groundbreaking (photo: http://t.co/l8Kd2a4 ).
Congr Shuler: The real winners here will be our children. (Congr Shuler speaking at the groundbreaking. http://t.co/UMLoIFg )
Link to photo of Mayor Bellamy speaking at the groundbreaking: http://t.co/P0y4o53